Nov 6, 2008

You Know The Tantrum.

I knew it was coming. It was inevitable. In my defense it does not happen very often....maybe twice a year. I always see it coming but rarely seem to be able to stop it. The throwing of a tantrum followed by the "ungrateful speech." It happened tonight to a less than adoring audience. Four teenagers lounging around rolling their big brown eyeballs at me and uttering phrases like, "chill out" to me while I listed all the things I had done and sacrificed for them this week and how they had treated me. And how I was working so they could participate in sports, have clothes, food and birthdays. And I needed some adoration in the form of gratitude.

I am always fascinated by how it makes people feel to seem be the only one working and perceive that everyone else is doing nothing. I have watched enough Survivor in my life to know that not helping gets you voted off the island...pronto. And believe me if my life was being televised from some amazing destination and there was money involved the mom of Madeline, Miriam and Amanda would be saying hateful things to the camera about her own daughters and she would be plotting with the other players to get them voted off.

My tantrum motivated Miriam who went out in the pouring rain to rake leaves, causing me to be torn, could I mention the futility of raking leaves in the rain to a child who was trying to make amends? Amanda continued to argue with me about all the points I made during my tantrum. And Madeline tried to fly under the radar and disappeared.

After my tantrum I had to get in the car and go to my monthly Seminary training meeting. I hate it when you act immature before a church meeting and you don't even feel like going because you just drove the spirit right away.

Of course the meeting was wonderful. I had been thinking a lot about all these principles I am teaching the Seminary kids and how I really want them to "get it." And we talked about that very topic tonight, How do we take principles we know to be true, hear about all the time and believe in and transform them into values? A value being something you really believe in and is so important to you that you have internalized it, feel it and care about it. The ideas were amazing and I am excited for Seminary on Monday to start working on them.

Now I just wish I could figure out how to internalize what I know about the principle of "throwing tantrums to get what you want" and just stop doing it :)


another day in the life of... said...

a good, healthy tantrum never hurt anyone. in fact, i believe it can be very beneficial and occassionally necessary.

Anne Marie said...

At least your tantrums only happen twice a year. Mine are at least once or twice a month. (And, then I always regret it because I spend way too much time comforting my three younger children afterwards.) It is almost impossible to always be in control of our feelings, especially as the mama when we can't really ever escape from it all...If there are moms out there who never yell, I'd like to know (okay, maybe I wouldn't because then I would feel even worse about it).

Kristy said...

Oh, I don't know. I think your kids can handle a tantrum occasionally. And you deserve to have them. I think the message gets through to them, eye-rolling and all.

Alyson said...

It's not a tantrum. It's righteous indignation, and it's a very healthy thing, otherwise kids would never learn to work or feel any gratitude.